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Jun 15

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Try Not to Get Carried Away

The Great Lakes can have powerful currents as dangerous as those in the ocean. Tune in for some “current” events:

The Great Lakes will sweep you off your feet, but with rip currents instead of a white horse and shining armor. (via Chris Brewster, USLA, NOAA)

The Great Lakes will sweep you off your feet, but with rip currents instead of a white horse and shining armor. (via Chris Brewster, USLA, NOAA)

When you think rip current, you might think the Atlantic Ocean. But rip currents are quite common in the Great Lakes as well.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jon Hitchcock says there are a couple conditions necessary to create a rip current.

Hitchcock: “One you need a fairly windy day that generates significant wave action, then the second part you need is a sandy shoreline.”

When the wind piles waves up on the beach, the pressure carves a trench in the sand that allows water to rush back into the lake. This happens so quickly that it carries everything out with it, including the unlucky swimmer.

But don’t panic! Hitchcock says you can escape from a rip current by swimming parallel to the beach.

 Hear More:

Jon Hitchcock describes hotspots for rip currents on the Great Lakes.

Get Schooled:

The Fine Print:

  • This segment was produced with Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and supported by agreement with New York Sea Grant, funds provided by the Environmental Protection Fund under the authority of the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this broadcast are those of the originators and do not necessarily reflect the views of Stony Brook University or New York Sea Grant.

 

 

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